September 2009 Babes

Bubbles' little friend flew in from Beijing and Bali last week. The babies were born just 3 days apart so this 2nd playdate was much anticipated by the mummies. It turned out rather fun!

Unfortunately, I didn't have a camera on hand (I couldn't find the battery charger for one of my cameras and didn't know how to change batteries for the new DSLR. Don't ask!) Lousy photos courtesy of my iPhone!

Anyway, the babies seemed to really like each other. They sat nicely eating their wholewheat pancakes before Bubbles stole Dylan's piece. Still, the little gentleman didn't fuss and stood in front of her as they both tried to pick up the pieces that dropped. They then proceeded to feed each other! haha

Later that afternoon, they both seemed genuinely happy to see each other again at the playground. Each took turns on the slide before they said their bye-byes.

Till we meet again, Dylan!

Zoom


The week just zoomed by.

I guess it happens when you're:

a mother of a teething 10-and-a-half-month-old,

part of a team that ran an event for 1,200 people, and

a wife of a man who had to go under the knife for a sports related condition.

The other pockets of time were filled with work meetings, grocery shopping, scheduled lunches, playdates, massages (only way to catch up on sleep), many walks, and serious one-on-one chats.

Still, I was there to put Bubbles to bed every single night. To dress her in the PJs, watch her potter around her room, feed her the last bottle, and pat her to sleep. Some days, I'm practically falling asleep on the floor as all these are taking place. But I still want to do it, and suspect that I will miss this almost sacred bedtime routine when she no longer needs mummy to be there for "sleepy time".

Have a great weekend everyone!

Breakfast Date

Just Roboman and I

Busy busy busy

I've been up late every night producing stuff for an event this week. All the last minute changes and the complexity of the content completely drained me.

Thankfully the dry run today went reasonably well after a panic attack due to technology issues that were eventually solved.

Through the stress, I have found strength in coming home to a smiley baby every day. Now, she understands when I need to go to 'work'. She'll see me changed in the mornings, and do her 'bye bye' wave. Some days (like today), she would wave bye bye and sob at the same time :( I would then carry that image of her in my head the whole day long, yearning for her. But always, when I return home, the sweetheart would squeal with joy, give me the widest grin, and crawl with all her baby might to get into my arms.

Bubbles, mummy will take you for more playground fun soon, I promise!

Yawn

It is the middle of the week. Is anyone as tired as I am? I've been getting so little sleep and feeling a sore throat coming on. I'm in the midst of doing possibly the toughest piece of work I have embarked on. The subject, the last minute (and changing) information pieces I've been given, and the high profile-ness of the project all heap stresses on me. Plus perhaps I'm just not good at this thing :(

From Sunday, Bubbles started again this 'demand' which she used to have when she was really little. Only Mummy can feed her last bottle now. NO ONE else. If you try, the house will be filled with determinedly anguished sobs. No Daddy, no Grandma, no Grandpa etc. Only Mummy. What do you do when a little chubby-cheeked one clamours up to you every night? I can never bear to peel her off.

First visit to the Hair Salon

Bubbles went for her first professional hair (fringe) trim over the weekend. The whole affair was so quick that we hardly got any shots taken!

As usual, when taken to any new environment, Bubbles spent the wait time looking intently at EVERYONE, and stared especially long at a customer who had her head wrapped up in foil.

When it came to her turn, the hairstylist small-talked to Bubbles and showed her a comb. I then discreetly handed her a baby biscuit to give to Bubbles. Bubbles hesitated and only took the biscuit from her with some encouragement from me. But she surprisingly didn't eat a bite of it! After that, it was snip, snip, snip (I think only 3-4 times?!) and we were done. Bubbles turned her head this way and that throughout so I have no idea how the hairstylist did it!

And so my baby was very pleased after that and sat there smiling at everyone. She then charmed the socks off the one remaining customer and the 3 sisters who run the salon by offering her biscuit to them.

A $1000 vs $75 damage

Feeding Mummy


It has been a crazy weekend. Knocked the wing mirror off a luxury car while driving to the market in the rain. Decided to claim insurance as the cost of repairs was a 4-figure sum. The owner of the other car had a surgical mask on the entire time he spoke to me. Hopefully I don't come down with the flu he was having!

Thankfully, not all is bad - I've been getting the thrill of being 'fed' by my baby for a few weeks, and this weekend was no exception. She gives me 2 bites for every 1 that she feeds herself :)

She also went for her first hair salon visit! More on that later.

Hope you're having a good weekend!

Favourite photo of the month

She's turning 10 months tomorrow. TEN months!

Life's a Juggle

Whenever I tell people about my work and childcare arrangements, they always exclaim about how lucky I am.

Not many people can have the option of working 3 days a week, a mother to help with childcare, and a domestic helper to do household chores. I understand that and don't mean to be ungrateful.

However, the wonderfulness of this arrangement masks the complexities of stuff that I need to juggle. I often feel ashamed or afraid to even start talking about my struggles except to the closest friends. And even when I do talk about it, I hold back the rants and try to sound as factual as possible, not revealing the strong emotions I really feel.

What's there to be stressed about? You have so much help! I even had someone wave aside any difficulty that I may have as negligible because I have the "good life".

The truth is, I have to do more with this part-time arrangement as everyone thinks I have spare capacity given that I only work and care for baby X days a week each. So I end up with more of everything. The whirl of household management that often includes the needs of the extended family lands up on my lap along with the usual wifey roles, childcare, and 'work' work. I have to deal with deep convictions and opinions about bringing up Bubbles - the first and only grandchild on both sides of the family. I have to handle the difficult emotions of people around me. I am expected to perform. It is not unusual for me to be up late, long after the household sleeps.

Someone recently told me about her friend, a young mother, walking out on her family. She felt she was taking on everything. It was too much and she decided to give up, abandon her family and live for herself. If I had heard this story a few years ago, the naive me would have hurled judgement upon this woman. However, being a new mother myself in a society like ours, I can understand how a person can be driven to such actions. Not that I think it is the right thing to do.

Anyway, I recently read this article by Lysa TerKeurst on Finding Balance. She talks about finding the balance between Ministry and Family and shares a little about how she does it. Her context is not altogether the same as mine, but the flurry of comments in response to her article assured me that I am certainly not alone and that feeling the way I do is perhaps normal.

In my quiet moments with the Lord, I thank Him for placing me in this special position in the family to be of such influence. It is a season in life to be experienced, warts and all. I am able to do this because of God's grace and my love for the people that I serve.

Wow this has been a long post. I hope it encourages anyone else who may feel burnt out.

My Lunch Partner

Lunch at home didn't materialise today so I headed out with my little lunch partner. The friendly soul waved to everyone along the way. The gardeners, cleaners, construction workers, wait staff and the people sitting at the table next to us. Baby biscuits and an Ikea spoon kept her happy and occupied. Looking at the top photo, I think I need to get her a bigger hat.

I've been feeling off-balance and overwhelmed these few weeks from the juggling of many things in my life. Balls have been dropping and I don't like it at all. Does anyone else relate?

I could live on Mala Hotpot

It is messy, too spicy and too oily. In many Mala Hotpot eateries, you also end up smelling like the hotpot.

But I absolutely love it!

I get cravings for Mala anything. The Sichuan peppers in the soup seriously pack an Oh So Tasty punch. They flavour the meats so deliciously, leaving a tingle on the tongue.

I just had it for lunch today, and I want some MORE.

Weekends

Every Friday, Roboman will ask about my weekend plans with Bubbles. We will think up child-friendly and fun things to do with her. Something different every week.

This past weekend, she received new shoes! My dear sister flew back from her work trip with them. She finally has a pair that actually fits. Big feet she has, my dear girl!

One of her favourite activities now is to go round and round on the merry-go-round! She determinedly holds on tight and enjoys the cool breeze. With shoes, I no longer need to clean dusty little feet :)

Z for Zigzag

The timeout

Many people have asked me why I stopped writing. I have said different things to different people, with different degrees of clarity and detail. All because I was also figuring out many things myself.

Ironically, as I was going to write a blog post last night, I received a call from a dear friend. I ended up talking to her till past midnight, and in that conversation, I spoke with the greatest clarity to date about my break from blogosphere. I'm glad I had that conversation.

Anyway, in short, I actually gave up writing as part of Lent. I felt it was most apt as I had at that point nothing much else that I was induging in. (I don't even watch TV these days and I was already watching my diet as I was breastfeeding).

After that, I plunged myself into prepping to go back to work. Organising household and childcare matters took up most of my time and energy.

I also mulled over privacy issues. Do I really want Bubbles to grow up with an online legacy left by her mother? I was starting to be really uncertain about that and still am.

Blogging moms out there - how do you deal with this?

Nevertheless, I think the break was good for me. It was like having a good night's sleep and waking up refreshed. Do you know what I mean? :)

All grown up

It has been a few months. Bubbles has girly hair now with little waves around her ears. She crawls, stands, self-feeds, asks for mmmerk and calls me Maa Maa. I can't believe how time flies and just how fast she has grown.

Yoo hoo...

...is there anyone still out there?

Momma's wondering if she should start writing again...

Painting Fun


Bubbles was introduced to paints recently at playgroup. The first thing she did was to grab a fistful of green-blue paint to eat.

After producing her first masterpiece, she spent quite a bit of time sitting in from of the mirror surveying her new look.

It was really funny to watch her!